Newsletter for April 20th

CEO Business Visits

Restaurant Life

K Snyder, K Probst, B Fehrenbacher

Thank you to Ken Snyder from DQ and Kent Probst and Brianne Fehrenbacher from The Muddy for participating in the Q&A session on Monday. Students were able to learn about making the customers feel special, managing employees and events, ordering and planning ahead, setting the pricing and marketing ideas. The focus may have been on running a restaurant, but many of the tips were transferable to the students' individual businesses. All of the speakers showed their passion for serving their customers and encouraging new ones!

Some of the best quotes of the day:

"My success is because of this town. They saw a local guy who wanted to make good. Now, we are pushing 190% capacity!" -KSnyder

"You can never be prepared enough." BFehrenbacher

"Act interested. Repeat nothing." KProbst

Team ITS

Mike Miller

When your life mission is to 'Make peoples' lives better at work and while using technology', you can't help but be a success in the IT world! Mike Miller, of Team ITS in Mattoon, spoke with students on Tuesday about how to make it in today's business world. "You can't be headstrong and un-accomodating yet stay in business. The customer is always right. Leaving a positive impression in your customers starts with having high standards for your work as well as treating them as a priority."

Mike also spoke about how word of mouth affects your reputation. This is a concept we have heard repeatedly as business owners speak on their experiences. Insurance, another often repeated topic, was addressed once a question was asked about protecting himself from lost data. "Have protective mechanisms in place", he said. That includes making sure the customer understands what might happen and doing your research. The world of technology is ever-changing!

Thank you, Mike, for taking time out of your busy day to speak with us! We appreciate the information. For more information on Mike and his team, visit their website at:

Classy Styles, Fantastic Customer Service

Thomas Shop

Stacia Bloemer has a rich history in the Thomas Shop. As a third generation owner, she has seen many changes in the clothing industry. She has a variety tricks and tips, which she willingly shared with the CEO students! Her passion, though, has to be her most shining characteristic-both for her business and her customers! Stacia told the students that one of the best things an owner can do is to 'empower your employees to treat people the way you do'. Another gem of wisdom was to remember that  'When you are in public, you always smile, are polite and kind.' That's a good rule to live by for anyone!

We appreciate Stacia taking the time to help us better understand the retail business and for taking the effort to speak to each student individually, giving tips specifically designed for their personal business. People of value leave people around them challenged and better...Stacia Bloemer is a person of value, for sure! Thank you, Stacia!

Touchstone Energy Cooperatives

Norris Electric

It all began on Christmas Eve, 1939. Norris Electric was able to bring power to their 550 members. Since then, they have expanded and now serve 20,000 members. We were able to hear a bit about the history, the steps they take to ensure safety, how technology has expanded their service, and customer and employee care. Tami Phillips was able to answer questions on a variety of other topics as well. We took a tour and heard about how Norris Electric is planning to upgrade their facilities to make it more efficient and safer for their employees.

Thank you, Norris Electric, for being an investor and for opening up your doors to us on Thursday. Everyone was so welcoming and we appreciated the input of Tami and her team!

People First

Integrated Therapy

From her very core, Sarah Weiler exudes a love for people. In her business, it shows in how she treats her clients as well as her staff. From 'Wellness Wednesdays' to quarterly outings, there's an empowerment theme in the Integrated Therapy office. Students were able to gain an understanding of Sarah's passion and learn a couple of life lessons from her. "Always know your next move," she encouraged students, as she explained her process of treating life like a chess game. 'Do what you love, but make it practical. You have to make money at it as well!' We often hear to follow your passion when deciding on a career, but Sarah explained it very well.

A very creative idea, as well as service, Sarah is currently offering is using her office as an Air B and B. She has offered structured support for those traveling with children with unique needs. It also could be used as a 'practice' vacation away from home. Call them at 618.783.7529 for more information or check them out online at:

Thank you, Sarah, for opening your office space for us this morning and orchestrating a wonderful start to our day! Sarah's kindness and hospitality were a welcoming end to our week! It was great to take time to strengthen our team as we prepare for the grand finale of the CEO Program-Trade Show. We hope to see you out at the KC Hall in Newton from 5p-7p on Wednesday, April 25th!


Announcing the Jasper CEO Class of 2018 TRADE SHOW

When: Wednesday, April 25th from 5p-7p

Where: KC Hall in Newton

17 Booths with Original Businesses Created by 20 CEO Students

Special Thanks to:

Peoples State Bank for sponsoring the event

WIKK and The Newton Press Mentor for letting their listeners/readers know

More thank yous to come next week!

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The manner in which the CEO program is funded is critical to its success and sustainability. All funds raised are used exclusively for the Jasper County CEO program. To participate, a 3-year $1000 per year commitment is required. Business Partner Investors commitments of time and energy are also critical to the program's success. Contributions may be tax deductible, as our organization is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

When we are not touring local businesses, we need a place to host the class. During that time, the 0 CEO students and their Facilitator would meet at your site where they would also have guest speakers and guests from the community attend. Hosting requires a facility with internet access and adequately accommodates up to 5 people.

We are looking for people to share real-life stories about the concepts of running a business, from strategic thinking, product development to marketing, and cash flow management. Also, sharing your personal successes and failures are what recent classes have enjoyed the most.

If you are interested in participating in any of the above programs, use our contact form to send us a message

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